THE family of a boy who had an agonising wait to find a donor for a potentially life-saving transplant today spoke of “winning the lottery” after a match was found in Germany.
Seven-year-old Charlie Fearns, from Litherland, was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in March 2009.
After responding to chemotherapy he was given the all clear in May this year but by August had relapsed and parents Rob and Sophie were told by doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital he would need a bone marrow transplant.
On Friday, after seven weeks of waiting, they received the news that a match for Charlie had been found in Germany. Now his family are urging more people to sign up for the bone marrow register to help other desperate families..
Rob, 30, said: “We had bought a lottery ticket on the Wednesday but when we got the news on Friday we just thought even if we won, you can stick the £130m, we’re happy now, we have got what we want.
“It was a massive relief.”
Initially the family were told there were six potential matches.
Rob said: “None of those turned out to be a match which was hard.
“We knew it could take a while and we had to stay positive for Charlie.”
At one point they were told they had just three weeks to find a donor but Charlie’s treatment has been put back due to illness and he is now due to have the transplant in January.
His donor, who was found by the Anthony Nolan Trust, will undergo a procedure in Germany and they will have 72 hours to transport his bone marrow to Alder Hey.